All retrogrades hit differently depending on the planet involved, what zodiac sign it’s retrograding in, and how it’s activating your individual birth chart — but here’s the general scoop on the major planetary retrogrades and how intensely they affect our lives.
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As the planet of good luck, Jupiter retrograde (which happens once per year and lasts for about four months) is usually the least stressful backspin of the bunch. It’s a time to reflect on your personal philosophies and belief systems, and refine the path you’re on.
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As the planet of illusions and dreams, Neptune retrograde marks a subtle time to get real about our lives and reality on the whole. This period helps us to see things as they really are — and allows us to access our spiritual sides from a more grounded perspective.
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Uranus is the planet of innovation, change, and freedom. It's annual five-month backspin asks us to embrace our inner rebels. Use Uranus retrograde to start processing unexpected changes that have recently taken place personally or collectively, and find new ways to relate to the world around you.
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Distant planet Pluto retrogrades for almost six months of the year, and this small-but-intense planet can be the catalyst for deep-rooted changes and transformative experiences, both in our personal lives and on a collective level.
Saturn retrograde is your annual four-month reality check, during which we face our boundaries, reevaluate the way we look to and hold authority, and come to terms with our more adult responsibilities.
Venus retrogrades every year and half for six weeks, and it affects love, money, and beauty more than any other — so it’s not a good time to make big decisions in romantic relationships, splurge on any luxury purchases, or make any drastic changes to your look.
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Mars retrograde only happens for about two months every other years, but it has a big impact on our motivation at work, how we express anger, and even our sex drives. We’re more accident prone, struggle to take decisive action, and can feel drained and frustrated all around.
Mercury retrogrades are notorious, as they happen about three times per year for a few weeks at a time.They make a mess of timing, travel, communication, technology, and other logistical matters, which makes keeping up with social plans and managing things at work a total headache.
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All planetary retrogrades affect us — some in more intense ways than others — but if you know what's coming and how to work with their wonky energies, they don't have to be so bad. Mark your calendars for the next retro-wave and take some solace in knowing what to expect.